As we have seen in many discussions on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, don’t put all your eggs in one basket and rely on one hit wonder marketing. If you have tried this, rest assured you are not alone, we have ALL done this. We put out a great big marketing campaign thinking this is gonna be it. The more I spend on it the better the results I am gonna get. We think to ourselves, the reason I hadn’t done this marketing before is because I didn’t have the money, but now that I do, I am going to go big and do a big marketing campaign. Maybe you send out a large mailing. Maybe you hand out many door hangers and then sit back and wait for results.
You sit and wait and wait, wait, wait some more. Sometimes you get no responses from all your efforts and you find yourself pulling your hair out thinking, what the heck happened? How could NO ONE respond? Well it happens and their can be many reasons why. Maybe the timing was off. Maybe the offer was off. Maybe the picture you used didn’t grab attention. Maybe the headline failed to get them to read your offer.
For what ever reason, it just didn’t work.
This is no time to pull the plug on your whole operation. You may have not gotten any responses but you have probably made an impression. We have found it takes many impressions, 6 +, to get a consumer to remember you and feel comfortable enough to contact you. So what are you to do about this?
You are going to market all year long. How you ask? Here is one idea.
Create a township improvement committee. You don’t need anyone’s approval to do this. Just start it. Use it as a way to reach out to your community which is your customer base and interact with them in a soft sell environment.
Meet at your local library once a month or so and discuss ideas on how to improve your community. Maybe specifically focus on environment issues, planting trees, cleaning up littered areas, planting flowers, but you don’t have to be limited to this. You will be able to put a free ad in the paper under community events. Have the group contact person be you and have the contact phone be your business line.
Come up with a list of ideas you would like to see improved upon in the township. Maybe volunteer some time to do it yourself at first. Present these ideas monthly at your town hall meeting during the time which is open to the public. Tell the township council people what you would like to see improved or what the committee would like to see improved and then tell them what you have done to help achieve that goal.
While you are there, why not take notes about what happened at the town hall meeting and then send these notes in to the local paper as a small article on what went on at the meeting. I bet you it will be published. Include your picture and your name and you will begin to develop a following. Publish these articles in a blog on your business website to attract local readership.
On your business website, show the listings of projects you would like to see the town achieve. Show what your committee has been able to achieve and show the upcoming meetings and what you will be discussing at them.
Also, include this in your marketing material. If you are handing out flyers, why not on the back, promote your involvement in the town and how you are trying to improve things and invite the public to join you and discuss their issues with the town and what they would like to see improved.
Present these ideas to the local business owners as well. Tell them how you would like to make main street more visual, to help attract more customers. Show them some drawings on what you would like to see changed.
If you do this, month after month, you will build awareness of you and your company. You will build goodwill within your community. It is something you could be doing all year long. Over time, most everyone in your town will get to know you.
This could cost you a minimal amount of money and a little bit of your time. It’s a great project for new business owners. Because of it’s marketing broadcast power, it’s also great for the verteran business owners. Experiment with these ideas and come up with a plan that suites your budget, schedule and needs.